Fresh Air on Corporate Accounting Scandals

Terry Gross interviewed Alex Berenson on Fresh Air yesterday:

Alex Berenson is a financial investigative reporter for the New York Times. In his new book The Number: How the Drive for Quarterly Earnings Corrupted Wall Street and Corporate America, Berenson examines the corporate scandals at Worldcom, Halliburton, Computer Associates, Tyco, and others, looking at practices that were common to all.

I usually enjoy Fresh Air, and I especially enjoyed yesterday’s show. The interview is about 20 mins, but it really goes into some of the nuts and bolts of “creative accounting” methods — but in terms that regular people can understand.

Marketplace and Memes

I was listening to NPR’s Marketplace on my way home from work on Friday (being that the economy has affected me, er, personally, I’ve found a new interest in business news) and I heard this accouncement in their usual dry sponsorship delivery as they closed the show:

Marketplace is brought to you by All Your Base Are Belong to Us. On the web at

I just couldn’t believe my ears that I was hearing such a meme in that context, and on Marketplace of places! I won’t give away any spoilers as to what they have on that page.

European Vacations

On NPR’s radio show “Marketplace” yesterday, there was an interesting bit on European vacations. I can't seem to find the segment in that show’s text archive, but I’ve confirmed that it’s in the RealAudio version (at about the 10-minute mark).

I agree with almost all that the author of piece has to say. Americans are being stifled by such short vacations, and Euopeans probably are well-rested after theirs. However, contrary to what the author suggests, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that a 4-6 week vacation should become law.